Virtual networking and (finally?) true workload mobility across clouds

VMware’s virtual networking solution, NSX, is in its third year of shipping and enjoying 400-percent growth over the last 18 months, according to VMware’s new Executive Vice President and networking and security head, Rajiv Ramaswami.

What can networking and security do together? For one, there is microsegmentation, a security technology pioneered in NSX. Rajiv described, “Now, every application has its own firewall.”

According to CTO of VMware’s networking and security business, Guido Appenzeller, a typical NSX deployment involves having a “…central controller and virtual switches that do the work.” More specifically, two management virtual machines (VMs), three control plane VMs and two gateway VMs or edge nodes with functions like firewalling.

Deployment itself is as easy as four steps. During a demo when Sajiv keynoted on Day 2 of VMworld 2016, the audience saw for themselves how quick and easy it is to operationalise and deploy NSX.

To date there are 1700 NSX customers, but 450 are production deployments that include professional services.

The lure of VMware’s virtual networking technology for businesses, is simply quicker app provisioning.  “App provisioning delays can be weeks or months. With NSX, you can deliver networking and security at virtual machine speeds,” said Rajiv.


Appenzeller described good adoption of NSX worldwide. In Asia, more specifically there are countries like Australia and Japan, while there are also some deployments in Southeast Asia.

“It started out with service providers and large webscale companies like eBay and Rackspace. In our most mature market, United States, take up is across industries… 80-percent of banks have purchased this and a good portion of the healthcare industry too,” said Appenzeller.

But  now, there’s more appeal for NSX because of VMware’s hybrid cloud proposition, the Cross-Cloud architecture.

Appenzeller said, “NSX is delivered as a product that’s on-premise and to also manage public cloud. It can also be consumed as a service.

“It creates networks that can go inside clouds and between clouds. Delivered via an agent in the workload, it can offer same function across all clouds, be they private or public.

“NSX feature sets for public and private clouds are almost similar.”

The Cross-Cloud architecture aims to standardise deployment of models, security policies, visibility and governance for all applications, running on-premise and off-premise, regardless of the underlying cloud, hardware platform or hypervisor.

Appenzeller had earlier shared that 70-percent of enterprises say they want to use multi-public clouds, because they want to take advantage of geographical differences, spot pricing and so on.

Easy and secure migration of enterprise workloads becomes important for enterprises to be able to take advantage of multi-public clouds.


(This journalist is a guest of VMware’s to VMWorld 2016 in Las Vegas).

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